November 1st, 2011
06:47 AM GMT
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Beijing (CNN) – Nearly half of Chinese millionaires are thinking about leaving the country, while 14% have or are in the process of applying for emigration, according to a Hurun Research Institute and the Bank of China report.

Their joint “Private Banking White Paper 2011” talked to individuals with assets of more than 10 million yuan (US$1.57 million) in18 cities to find out how China’s super rich manage their wealth. The average asset holdings of the 980 surveyed are 60 million yuan (US$9.44 million), with the average age of 42.

Where do China’s millionaires want to move? North America is the top choice. The United States is the most popular immigration destination for Chinese millionaires, attracting 40% of the respondents who are interested in leaving China, followed closely by Canada (37%) followed by Singapore and Europe.

Half of the investors said they want to leave for better overseas education opportunities for their children. About a third invest abroad as a step toward emigration, while a quarter of them do so to diversify and manage risk.

Observers believe that personal and capital safety is an increasing concern for the rich who are choosing to transfer their wealth overseas.

“We see too many worried entrepreneurs nowadays who are afraid that they would end up in prison for offending Chinese officials,” Beijing-based scholar Hu Xingdou told Ming Pao, a Hong Kong newspaper. He believes the lack of legal protection in many areas has lead to the worsening of business environment in China, which is accelerating the emigration drive.

Where did they get their cash? One quarter of China’s top 1000 richest people obtained their wealth from property, compared to less than 10% among the world’s 1000 richest, the report says. The percentage of wealth generated from manufacturing industry is also significantly higher.

One-third of the rich surveyed own foreign assets, which accounts for 19% of their investment assets. Another one-third are planning to invest abroad. The most popular investment is property.

The outflow of super-rich is worrisome to some China observers. Hu warns that if the cash fails to flow back to the mainland due to recession, Chinese economy might face a collapse.

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Filed under: China

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. AK

    Yes, come to Singapore! Our government has made porperty speculating very profitable and easy for you! Buy our property, rent/sell to the locals for profit! Come, come!! Come one, come all!!!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  2. 4AllJustice

    Of course they want to leave, properties prices are already being slashed the propertie buble is about to burst
    soon and massive social unrest will follow. These people that got rich with building business will be the scapegoat for the crises and will end up in jail, killed or expatriated and their money confiscated by the regime
    On top of that many common folk have been robbed and forcefull evicted from their homes and farmlands so local officials could sell to land develpers making huge profit. All this will going to be pinned on these rich builders by the Regime they know it so no wonder they want to leave.

    November 1, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  3. EMBE

    Singapore is BORING!!!! Don't make the mistake of your life!!!!
    Go Europe, Go USA where everything is for sale at cheap prices NOW but not forever!

    November 1, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  4. David ike Ahuchaogu

    Nigeria has quite a lot to offer in this regard.with a population of over 150million people, yet adequate housing has continued to be mirage and a recurrent decimal if you choose to.investing in this sector in Nigeria west africa success guarantEed

    November 1, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  5. God Of Hell


    November 1, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  6. cabca

    Love the photo. "And here comes one of those millionaires now".

    Put that kid to work early, they'll be a millionaire by the time they're 6 1/2.

    November 1, 2011 at 8:30 am |
  7. Niraj

    Come to Nepal
    its so close to you home

    November 1, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  8. gliese42

    please come to America. Chinese make good American citizens and America doesn't need poor latinos and suicide bombers.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:22 am |
  9. YorkyRoyal

    Stay home in China, tansfer the excessed cash back to the government and the poor people can benefit from it.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  10. Reply to YorkyRoyal

    So naive. If the excessive cash is transferred to the CCP, the corrupt officials will eat every cent of your contribution. None of it will reach the poor or needy.

    The reason people want to leave China is because of the systematic corruption, total abuse of power, disregard for human rights, high pollution, unequal wealth distribution, absolute control over all forms of media, military, judicial system, political system, land rights, and all aspect of Chinese society. The CCP is the very definition of evil.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  11. Frank

    God, I hope the Chinese capitalists stay home! The Chinese are not known for social justice, they don't care about American history, pollution, civil rights, unions, neighbors, politics. They just want to buy big house, big car, big TV monitor, and eat massive Chinese foods with all their relatives. They could care less about homelessness, joblessness, or their fellow citizens. And talk about racism! Sound like a stereotype? You just wait and see...

    November 1, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  12. newtiptop

    if i have enough money, i will leave also

    November 1, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  13. James 0keufe

    No way. Who would want to leave the People's Paradise?

    November 1, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  14. occupy this

    If you come to America, thugs from unions to occupiers will come with pitchforks to shake you down. Better go to Singapore.

    November 1, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  15. Wise up

    Don't go to America. You'll end up poor again.

    November 1, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  16. Padhu

    Why dont you riches try to help poor by thinking properly...!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  17. YorkyRoyal

    Replying to "Reply to YorkyRoyal", I was being sarcastic. Ofcourse, my oppinion was exactly like yours.

    November 1, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  18. Mac

    If they move to America they will find americans don't want to work in their sweat shops for fifty cents an hour.
    Their children will become fat, stupid and rebellious. Their daughters will get knocked up and drop out of school. Their number one golden son will crash his sports car while high on drugs.
    The moral corruption will take hold and their line will end..

    November 1, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  19. Gary the Vampire

    "...Half of the investors said they want to leave for better overseas education opportunities for their children...."

    If this is what they want, the U.S. fails miserably, sitting at #26 in "World's Best Education Lists." While Americans may THINK they wear the indisputable crown for education queens and kings, the facts show that the U.S. is poor in math, science, etc. GRADE: C Thank you – U.S. teachers – with your automatic tenure at a mere two years.

    November 1, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  20. Annamaria Capicchioni

    At the end of the day I guess The United States is still the best alternative.It is the lesser of the 2 evils

    November 1, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  21. Sun


    November 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  22. lorne

    come to canada.
    no mortage mess
    no debt mess, multi-cultural, lower unemployment, govt that works,

    November 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  23. Kenbrio Sammanini

    People talk about how "China and India" do better in education
    But you can tell that Mainland China families know that US education is better, since they move with their feet

    You can look at the elite schools in China and say "they are better than Anytown, USA" schools, but compare an Anytown USA school to a Chinese Anytown school...

    November 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  24. DavidinChina

    I am a Canadian in China. Most of these comments sound quite uneducated. (A) Canada has social injustice too. Canada is far from a paradise. As soon as you try to start a business in Canada 10 hands come out and want your money – even before you make one cent. Taxation is brutal in Canada. People are lazy in Canada; maybe not as lazy as Americans but pretty close; Canada has pollution issues as well. I admire my Chinese friends; they have such an amazing work ethic and spirit. Also note, CNN is a crappy news agency like any other and many of the stories are out of context, biased, and ad revenue driven. If you really want to know the truth then visit China and talk to the people here. It's not as bad as you think – I don't miss Canada much.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  25. poorman

    SO many wealth flows out from china.So pity to the country.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  26. poorman

    Half of the investors said they want to leave for better overseas education opportunities for their children.??
    Maybe they only think it is very dangerous in CHina

    November 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  27. Frank S Hansen

    Ofcourse they wish to emmigrate to the USA. In "Greeds own country" stuff like stealing is rewarded :
    Start a bank, then steal everything from your customers, result : KA-CHING!....Big Bonus.
    Enter a hedgefund and svindle from dawn to dusk : KA-CHING!
    Do a GoldmanSachs : KA-CHING!
    Do a MF Global : KA-CHING!
    Lose track of billions of dollars in cash in the military industrial complex :KA-CHING!

    And the little taxpayer will mob up your mess.

    In China: Steal a bicycle : Prison for years.
    Steal millions : Bullet to the back of the head...BAM!

    November 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  28. jesus

    50% people in developing countries "want to leave" and 50% of the people " want to stay"......its neither here nor there.??

    It's normal.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  29. Kyle H. Davis

    It's not just the millionaires, you will find a large (and growing) group of people that have become disenchanted with China. Young people, especially, have access to a lot more information, and the old ultra-nationalist propaganda that has been shoved down their throats is now seen for what it is.

    What is it now in the US, 90% retention rate for Chinese students who come to the US to study? That says it all.

    It is NOT that they are coming to make more money for back home; with current economic growth in China, that excuse is waning.

    I honestly feel sad when I hear some young people speaking about the state of China... Regardless of what is going on back home in the US, regardless of the disagreements I might have with the government or society, I would never say some of the things I hear young Chinese saying about China. (Sure, I have spent the past decade in China, but that does not mean I have lost any love of the US – to the contrary, it has given me more insight into what makes the US great).

    The sense of hopelessness here... of being able to make a difference (one that would cause change for the better) fills the minds of many. University students in China literally laugh when I explain what most children are taught in the US "You can become anything you want"... that idea is not taught here at all.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  30. Eric

    That is the truth. Chinese want to leave, Europe and US are better than China. I want to go to the US,too. Unfortunately, I do not have much money, and cannot get a US permeant resident card.

    November 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  31. That'snotTrue:[

    Yeah, right... let see in the US, the economy is in the tanks, too much debt Europe, same thing, Africa not devoloped enough, south America, still have it's problems, even Canada to. CNN stop writing articles based on speculation, I have to ask what do you consider a millioniare? Beause most immigrant are from Asia, whether you like them or not.... this is weak... even for the whole anti China theme.
    Where are the charts and graphs that shows the immigration?
    Why don't you have anyone of those millioniares talk about their experience?
    All you have is one quote which may have been taken out of context if you consult a English/Chinese dictionary.
    But then again, what can we expect 15RMB= 2.3 million USD, the story on the so called "dissent" Ai Wei Wei (Again) LOL.
    LOL, by that currency, any random person farmer or CEO is a thousand times richer than anyone in America.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  32. Mickey

    Stay put in China, don't come to my country with your suitcases of money buying up properties, driving prices up, your young punk kids driving Porche sand Ferraries, and your daughters with theor Aston Martins and Burberry bags!

    November 2, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  33. Ibnu Rusdi

    YES! DON'T come to HK, it's too crowded down there!,
    DON't go to singapore, it's too small, and don't goto canada and USA, too many crimes and racism, etc......
    Just come to INDONESIA! Our government has made property speculating very profitable and easy for you! Buy our property, rent/sell to the locals for profit! welcome to INDONESIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 2, 2011 at 2:07 am |
  34. Guest

    Best news I've heard all year. Our banks aren't lending and our government has all but shut down small business lending... we could use a influx of wealthy investors from anywhere. I'm ready to roll out the red carpet if they'll put some money in my business so I can finally grow.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:35 am |
  35. FatB$stard

    Go to hell.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:06 am |
  36. rex

    How come so few Chinese want to emigrate to the biggest and most vibrant English-speaking democracy in the world, the one right on their doorstep? Gee, I just cannot imagine what distant America has that India lacks ...

    November 2, 2011 at 5:25 am |
  37. john

    Please dont come to Singapore. You are not welcome. Go USA Canada or some where i don't care.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:42 am |
  38. Chinese American

    Well, regardless where you go, there got to be advantages/disadvantages, depending on your perspective, situation, gut feeling, and many factors affecting one's decision, weather, language, culture, connection, friend, or do you like the place or not. Are you able to be comfortible.

    Austrila, Canada, U.S. Singapore, and even local China has many good opportunity for the right people. Don't let people brainwash you.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:46 am |
  39. Jeff

    These millionaires must have cheated and evaded tax. Now they are worried the law will catch up with them and they want to scoot with their loot before its too late. I hope they are caught soon.

    November 2, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  40. Dhun.S

    well, China nowdays is more like a transformer being transformed, and it's really hard to say what kind of shape it's gonna take. So do the riches who've found their fortunes in the mainland. And I sincerely respect their choices, immigration or staying. However, I do disagree with someone who attributes this so-called immigration trend to something policy related. Anyway, it's this kind of policy that has kept our country in peace for so many years and led to so many riches today, including those who are preparing to limmigrate. Is there any better one that suits China so good? Still, a lot has to be done about China's policy. But it's a progress of transformation, not revolution, or even some ugly and vicious predictations.

    November 2, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  41. Reynard

    Whatever you do, do not go to the US or Canada or Europe. Those are the top three worst places to go to protect your assets now. Militant unions, heavy taxation, unreasonable restrictions on business, difficulties w/ securing loans, a limpid business climate, weak consumer confidence, a triple-dip recession in the works that's seen to extend into 20 yrs, even more. Go to underdeveloped countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, or stable countries in Africa like Algeria, Botswana, South Africa, Kenya. There the wealth grows like money on trees, because opportunities always abound where a place is only starting to modernize.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  42. John

    Did this same news story came out 6 months ago? Why do American news agency recycle news about China? I guess if it is anti-Chinese and make American feel good then it is fair game.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  43. AmericanVet

    Do us all a favor and stay in China.

    November 3, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  44. Sick of Mass Migration

    Stay in China and sort out your own problems in your own country. Mass movement of people to the West, and the Chinese influx is a good example of this, has done nothing but force up property prices, created demand for development of rubbish housing to accommodate these people at the expense of our environment, created traffic and pollution choking our cities, sent the prices of basic needs such as electricity and water through the roof to pay for upgrades to systems that can't cope with the numbers and a cheap (usually black) labour force. On top of that the Chinese turn suburbs once decent into dumps, they create jobs only amongst their own people, only shop in their own people's shops and then they want to bring out more of their family members. Do the world a favour and stay in your own overpopulated nation.

    November 3, 2011 at 4:10 am |
  45. Good bird

    Good bird will select a better tree branch to stay, and better people will choose a better place to develop. If you can change the environment then just do it for all of the people's benefits, otherwise, you can do your own a favor by living in a better country.

    November 3, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  46. Victor

    Chinise bussiness men can come to Nigeria and invest in the power sector or houslng sector becouse Nigeria is one of the fastest developing countries in the world moreover, those that invested in telecom industry some years ago are geting rewards of their investiment.

    November 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  47. AIMS Immigration Specialist

    Google us, you know we can help you to get to the place that you really want to be... Be it US, Canada, Singapore or Australia... We can help you :-)

    November 9, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  48. Ken

    Too many chinks in Toronto buying up condos and driving up prices. I cant wait for the market to tank.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  49. starbucks_sg

    Given that China has close to 1 million millionaires, that 980 is insignificant, less than 1%. Hence you report that half the millionaires are planning to leave is incorrect.

    November 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  50. Andy

    @ starbucks_sg, this will greatly expand your worldview:

    November 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  51. China Whisper

    there are many reasons, they can leave China, but their business will be in China,

    November 11, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  52. midamerica

    We havemet a few young Chinese families that want to immigrate who have multiple million dollar businesses. The US would be glad to have them. The last young couple was in their 30s and have a 18 month old son. They wanted more for him than the constant Chinese/oriental stress of school growing up. They said kids in China are expected to go to school all day and then study all night starting at first grader. They said the Chinese culture is extremely stressful for kids. They wanted more for their son, they wanted him to have what we americans call a normal childhood with school, music, sports and fun time with the rest of the family. It was all about their kids. They realize that most Chinese are not compassionate people and they don't want their kids to grow up in that type of culture.

    November 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  53. Whateva

    David ike Ahuchaogu – Invest in Nigeria? Why the hell would rich Chinese or anyone for that matter want to live or invest in Nigeria? Horrible country and horrible corruption and crime. Nigerians are spreading their low brow organized crime around the world, runing places like Thailand for example. So if you want to lose your money and possibly your life, go to Nigeria, let them know you have lots of money. I'm sure they'll be happy to help you "invest" it. I hear they have a booming email scam industry just ripe for foreign investment!

    November 20, 2011 at 8:34 am |
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    Im surprised the Philippines is not in the list..

    November 26, 2011 at 8:45 am |
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